April 8, 2010 |
Reporting from Denver and Washington Nicholas Riccardi -- Two F-16s scrambled to escort a United Airlines jet into Denver International Airport on Wednesday night after a man claiming to be a Qatari diplomat allegedly tried to ignite a small fire on the plane -- or perhaps just sneak a smoke -- federal law enforcement officials said. The incident raised fears of another terrorism strike similar to a passenger's Christmas Day attempt to ignite explosives in his underwear as a Northwest jet approached Detroit, and to the 2001 shoe bomber, Richard Reid, who tried to set his shoes afire on a transatlantic flight from Paris.
March 13, 2010 |
India signed five deals Friday to purchase more than $7 billion in hardware and expertise from Russia, including an aircraft carrier, a fleet of MIG-29 fighters, defense and space technology and at least 12 civilian nuclear reactors. On the minds of both parties, analysts said, was a nation not present at the signing. "China will be the ghost in the room," wrote analyst C. Raja Mohan in an opinion piece this week in the Indian Express. Having a working aircraft carrier -- India's only carrier, the 50-year-old British-built Viraat, rarely leaves port -- should allow India to expand its presence in the Indian Ocean.
January 9, 2010 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has committed to remaining in his post for an additional year, keeping him in office at least through the next crucial Afghanistan strategy review this year. In Pentagon circles, speculation about Gates' intentions had been intense. When President Obama first announced that he intended to keep Gates as Defense secretary, some experts predicted he would stay on only for the first year of the administration. Originally appointed by former President George W. Bush, Gates is the first Defense secretary to serve under presidents of different parties.
November 6, 2009 |
Saudi Arabian warplanes attacked Shiite rebel strongholds inside northern Yemen today in a surge of fighting along the border following the death of a Saudi security official at the hands of insurgents, according to news reports. Saudi fighter jets targeted up to six rebel positions inside Yemen and along the mountainous border. Saudi troops were reportedly heading toward the region to secure villages and prevent further cross-border incursions from Houthi rebel forces that have been battling the Yemen government sporadically since 2004.
September 8, 2009 |
Stepping up an aggressive plan to fortify the defense of its valuable natural resources, Brazil said Monday it had entered into a billion-dollar-plus agreement to buy 36 French jet fighter planes. The deal was announced in a statement issued by Presidents Luis Inacio Silva da Lula of Brazil and Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who together took part in Brazil's Independence Day ceremonies in Brasilia. The precise value of the aircraft sale was not released pending final agreement on the terms but observers estimate its value at more than $2 billon.
September 4, 2009 |
The alleged arms deal involved sit-down meetings in Paris and London, a front company in Kyrgyzstan and shipments via Colombia to the ultimate destination, Iran. But today, the notorious Belgian trafficker charged with arranging the scheme finds himself in a federal jail in Mobile, Ala. U.S. authorities say Jacques Monsieur, a swashbuckling 56-year-old known as "the Fox" and "the Field Marshal," conspired with an undercover agent to buy engines and parts for F-5 fighter planes for Iran.
July 31, 2009 |
The Democratic-controlled House went along with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' plans to kill the over-budget F-22 fighter jet but has rejected his efforts to cut off several other big-ticket items.
July 22, 2009 |
In a political victory for the Obama administration -- and a surprising defeat for some lawmakers in both parties -- the Senate voted Tuesday to halt further production of the Air Force's F-22 Raptor fighter jets. The 58-40 vote on an amendment to the $680-billion defense authorization bill called for stripping out the $1.75 billion set aside for construction of seven more of the jets. The F-22, which has not been used in Iraq or Afghanistan, has come under particular scrutiny for its price tag.
July 19, 2009 |
An American fighter jet crashed Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, killing the two-man crew, U.S. military officials said. The crash of the F-15E came in a month that has already proved the deadliest for Western troops in the course of the nearly 8-year-old Afghanistan conflict. At least 50 coalition service members, including 26 Americans, have been killed so far in July. The highest previous monthly tally for Western troop fatalities in Afghanistan was 46.
July 17, 2009 |
Intensifying a fight over the fate of the military's F-22 stealth fighter jets, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that the push by lawmakers for additional planes -- against the Pentagon's recommendation -- actually risks making America more vulnerable.